TRAVELLING FIRST CLASS

Once upon a time there was a man who wanted to go on a trip. He decided to do this by taking a bus. He went to the bus station to buy a ticket. The man at the ticket counter said, “What kind of ticket do you want – first class, second class, or third class?” The man decided he was a first class kind of a guy, and spent the extra cash needed to secure a first class passage.

It came time for the passengers who had bought tickets to get on the bus. The “first class” man was the only one who had chosen to buy that level of ticket. He got on the bus and asked the driver, “Where do I sit?” The driver replied, “Anywhere you want?” This made the man a little angry. He thought first class people should have special seats you, see. “Well then, wait a minute. Where do the second class people sit?” “Anywhere they want.” replied the driver. Now the man was really angry. “Well, heck, where do the third class people sit?” The driver replied, “Anywhere they want.” The man was about to make a stink at this point because there seemed to be no advantage to paying a higher ticket price, but before he could, more people got on the bus and the driver was otherwise occupied. The man took a seat and began sulking.

Now a half hour into the bus ride, the bus broke down because of a flat tire. The driver got on the loudspeaker and said, “OK, third class people, get out of the bus and change the tire.” The third class people tramped off the bus. Then he said, “OK you second class people, get off the bus and supervise the third class people to make sure they get that tire fixed.” So the second class people tramped off the bus.

Finally there was no one left but the driver and the man who held the first class ticket. “Well, what should I do?” the first class man asked the driver. “Nothing.” replied the driver. “Remember – you’re going first class. All you have to do is watch.”

Source | Unknown

PONDER AND CONSIDER

There are three types of people in this world. The people who fix the tires, the people who stand around saying “fix the tire” and the people who sit around and do nothing. Which one are you?

  • Are you a first class ticket kind of person? Always top of the line, always wanting to be served, taking no initiative and doing nothing?
  • Are you second class, all talk and no action? You know what you should be doing, but you don’t do it.
  • Are you third class? Do you get off that bus whenever a need emerges, fixing in the best way you can the flat tires and hurts of this world? Are you an active agent of and for change when it comes to tikkun olam [Hebrew word meaning “repairing the world”]


WHY DON’T YOU BUY A TICKET

Once upon a time, a pious old man said to God, “God, look how faithfully I’ve served you all my life, right?”  Of course, he heard no answer.

“Right,” said he to himself. “Now, I’ve never asked you for anything, right?”

“Right,” said he, talking on behalf of God, of course.  And he said, “Now, I’m going to ask you for just once favour and you can’t say no to me.  All my life I’ve served you, I’ve observed the law, I’ve kept the rites.  I’ve done good to people, I’ve observed your commandments.  Just do me this one favour:  Let me win the lottery, and then I can retire in peace and security.”

So he was convinced that God would grant him his desire, and he waited and waited and waited.  And he kept on praying every night.  After six months, nothing had happened.  And then one night, in sheer frustration, he yelled: “God, give me a break. let me win the lottery.”

And imagine the fright he got when he heard a voice reply, “Give me a break yourself.  Buy s ticket.”

Source | Anthony de Mello, Rediscovering Life. Pages 104-105

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IN SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT FORMAT

A devout religious man fell on hard times. So he took to praying in the following fashion: “Lord, remember all the years I served you as best as I could, asking for nothing in return. Now that I am old and bankrupt I am going to ask you for a favour for the first time in my life and I am sure you will not say No: allow me to win the lottery”

Days passed. Then weeks and months. But nothing happened. Finally,almost driven to despair, he cried out one night, “Why don’t you give me a break, God?”

He suddenly heard the voice of God replying, ” Give me a break yourself! Why don’t you buy a lottery ticket?”

Source | Anthony de MelloThe Prayer Of The Frog. Page 52
or in the US edition, Taking Flight., page 104

PONDER AND CONSIDER

  • Did you buy your ticket? Are you expecting magic or are you responsible enough to daily do your part?

CAUGHT SPEEDING ON THE HIGHWAY

A man was speeding down the highway, feeling secure in a gaggle of cars all traveling at the same speed. However, as they passed a speed trap, he got nailed with an infrared speed detector and was pulled over.

The police officer handed him the citation, received his signature and was about to walk away when the man asked, “Officer, I know I was speeding, but I don’t think it’s fair – there were plenty of other cars around me who were going just as fast, so why did I get the ticket?”

“Ever go fishing?” the policeman suddenly asked the man.

“Well, yeah, of course I go fishing from time to time,” the startled man replied.

The officer grinned and added, “Do you ever catch all the fish?”

PONDER AND CONSIDER

  • The fact that often we are not caught does not mean that everything is OK and right and just. A wrong is always wrong whether one is caught or not.
  • What do you think?  Do you believe that because only you are caught and not the others who were doing exactly the same thing as you, an injustice is being committed?
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